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Guerrilla Marketing Yourself

Once you understand that people judge you from the first moment you meet them, and realize that there is a range of tools available to help support your positioning, you can be more successful in every encounter.

If you haven't already guessed, a key part of Guerrilla Marketing Yourself is learning how to position yourself. The people you meet just aren't going to take the time to really get to know you. They're going to make a snap decision about who you are and what you stand for whether you want them to or not.

Most of us don't like to accept this. Most of us don't want to boil the essence of our personality down to just eight words. Most of us don't have a plan and a solid goal. And most of us fail more than we ought to.

Madonna is one of the most famous women in the world. But we have no idea what books she likes, whether she knows how to bake cookies and if she remembers her friend's birthdays. Madonna has positioned herself, and we've pigeonholed her.

Abraham Lincoln has a position in our brains. Honest guy with beard who freed the slaves. Eight words. Compare this with Grover Cleveland, Millard Fillmore, U.S. Grant and even Lyndon Johnson. These Presidents all worked hard, but because they have no position, they're anonymous.

Not convinced? Think positioning only works for famous people? Think about your high school days. Who do you remember? Why? Chances are the people who stand out in your memory aren't necessarily the ones you spent the most time with, but they are the ones with the most vivid positioning. Did they do this consciously? Probably not. Doesn't matter. Unconscious or not, positioning effects the way you're perceived.

We know ourselves very, very well. We're aware of all of our skills, our talents, our plusses and our minuses. And quite often, we expect that others will too. We meet someone at a cocktail party and are surprised and offended when they walk off after just a couple of minutes. "Wait! I'm so interesting! How can you leave?"

Unfortunately, most people aren't as interested in you as you are. If you want people to remember something about you, you need to choose a position.

Of course, no one can force you to market yourself. You can reject the entire system and insist on 'being yourself.' That's your privilege.

If you don't consciously choose a position, you still have one. It may be muddy, inconsistent and difficult to detect, but just about everyone you meet is going to pick one for you anyway. You may think, "I don't want to do any marketing for myself." But that just means that the marketing you are doing, consciously or unconsciously, probably won't help you achieve your goals.

This is one of the key messages of guerrilla Marketing. You must choose a position or have it chosen for you.

Guerrillas learn early on that they must select their own position, that they must consistently use it and they have to stick with it. The position you choose for yourself will determine who you become friends with, where you work and how high you get promoted. Of course your position can evolve. It can grow and change with you.

You can't just pick a position out of thin air, of course. You can't decide to go from being a shy librarian with a passion for roses and become a glamorous Wall Street analyst with a harem of attractive men standing at your beck and call. Just as Seven-Up started from a base (the soft drink business) you must stick with your essence.

The message behind positioning yourself isn't to invent something brand new out of whole cloth. In fact, it's exactly the opposite. You position yourself well when you capture part of your essence in a few simple symbols and phrases. You must choose a position you can live with, a position you can be proud of, a position you can deliver on.

All too often, people unconsciously position themselves in very unattractive ways. These are good people, talented people, but people who are sabotaging their lives by focusing on an element of their personality that others dislike.

The article you just read is from an upcoming book, Guerrilla Marketing Yourself.

The irrepressible Jay Levinson and his occasional co-author Seth Godin (The Guerrilla Marketing Handbook, Guerrilla Marketing for the Home-Based Business) are at it again. And they need your help.

Guerrilla Marketing Yourself will be the first guerrilla book aimed at a non-business audience. The thesis is straightforward: The way you look, the way you talk, the way you act all work to support or tear down the image (your positioning) you establish for yourself.

The book ranges from surprising little things (the kind of glasses you wear) to larger issues about trust and dependability. It's filled with real-life anecdotes, and that's where you come in.

We need to hear stories of how you have made yourself over. True anecdotes about how projecting one message or another helped (or hurt) you in your quest. People you know how sabotage themselves by being late all the time or not keeping promises.

We'll change the names to protect the innocent, and send you a free copy of the finished book if we use your story.

Send your contributions to, or in print form to:

iPUB interactive publishing
1519 Mountain Blvd.
Oakland, CA 94611-2105
Attn: Guerrilla Marketing Yourself Ideas

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By Jay Conrad Levinson

About the Author: Jay Conrad Levinson

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Jay Conrad Levinson is the author of the best-selling marketing series in history, "Guerrilla Marketing," plus 30 other books. His books have sold 14 million copies worldwide. His guerrilla concepts have influenced marketing so much that today his books appear in 41 languages and are required reading in many MBA programs worldwide.
Click here to visit Jay's website.
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